04 March 2008

A Privacy Disaster Waiting to Happen

I was already teetering on the brink of opting out of the NHS patient database; this just pushed me over:

A new national database of confidential patient records is being opened to access by NHS staff who need no professional qualifications - despite official assurances that records will only be accessed by specialists who are providing care or treatment.

A document obtained by Computer Weekly under the Freedom of Information Act also provides evidence that NHS Connecting for Health - which runs part of the £12.4bn National Programme for IT [NPfIT] - has quietly decided to weaken assurances given to patients about the confidentiality of records.

Doctors are angry because they say that patients were given an assurance that non-clinical staff would be unable to access the national summary care record database which is being trialled at NHS trusts in various parts of England.


Andrew Chilton said...

To me, that sounds like they have failed in providing the necessary software to do it, and hence that particular requirement has now been dropped.

Of course, if the software that was being used was open, I'm sure that feature would be written in quite quickly.

Glyn Moody said...